For so many years, I defined myself as a writer who, among other things, had a novel she was trying to get published, or finished, or revised further, or written. For 38 years, I've been writing the novel in one form or another -- in my head, on the page, across the screen and deep in my psyche. Now that the novel is out, what do I have to say for myself?
It's a curious thing, but overall, I'm deeply grateful that The Divorce Girl is published, and published by a fine, small press that pays good attention to marketing and distribution as well as producing a beautiful book.
I'm happy, downright thrilled, to share the writing with others, and such readings allow me to hang out with my characters some more although I realize we can never completely and entirely leave each other. Their experiences in the book are so entwined with my own that I have trouble delineating what happened to Deborah Shapiro, my young protagonist, and what happened to me when I was her age. Yet I also recognize that I'm no longer the author of their lives (or actually of my own previously-lived life).
I'm a little nervous about putting my story, although greatly fictionalized, out into the world, and yet as I go -- reading by reading, blog post by blog post -- I realize how it is just like all our stories of living through the impossible and finding who we are in the living. To share our stories is a tender and sacred thing that dissolves silences, judgments, fears (and even that small bit of nervous energy).
I'm also exceedingly calm, even quiet, in my heart about arriving at the dream. Getting something that part of my life's work out into the world isn't like winning an Oscar (although I don't exactly have first-hand experience here) or sky-diving in the Rockies. It's more like sitting in the backyard, which is where I am right now, and watching the wind ruffle the cottonwood leaves and out of the corner of my eye, a spectacular indigo bunting shoot across the field to the cedar stand.
Coming to the end of the dream is simply coming home, where all endings and beginnings shake and blow through each other, landing us where we've always been.
Hang out with Caryn's blog tour -- details at http://carynmirriamgoldberg.com/books/the-divorce-girl/divorce-girl-blog-tour/, including stops with book giveaways. If you have a blog and would like to review the book, interview Caryn, or have her do a guest post, please contact her at KSPoetLaureate@gmail.com